Do you see your heart as merely a way to circulate your blood and keep you alive?
Does thinking about your heart conjure up feelings of love and compassion?
Do you believe it is the seat of your soul?
Do you use it as your primary organ of perception through which you see and feel everything?
Your heart is all of these. In this series, you are going to learn more about your heart, what your heart has to tell you and how to keep it (and you) healthy.
What Happens to Your Heart at Menopause?
Menopause is a time of transition and change. If you have any unresolved issues, they will be magnified, including issues of the heart. Menopause requires a change of heart.
Women and Heart Disease
We have known, since WWII, that the beginnings of heart disease (arteriosclerosis) start in the teenage years. However, it is believed that a woman’s menstrual cycle protects her from having the same heart attack death rates, until menopause.
For women over 50, heart disease is the leading cause of death. And heart attacks for women are twice as deadly as for men. Why is this?
Women have smaller blood vessels. And changing hormone levels at menopause, change the wall of the blood vessels and change the level of fats in the body.
Plaque accumulation and heart disease symptoms for women are different from men’s, leading to under diagnosis and under treatment of women for heart disease. Plaque accumulation for men is in clumps and for women, it is distributed uniformly inside the blood vessels, which may appear normal in diagnostic tests. The early warning signs of heart attack for women may be extreme weakness that mimics having the flu rather than the classic pain in the left shoulder area.
Research and treatments have been designed for men. Women make up only 24% of participants in all heart-related studies. Using the same treatment for women as for men has proven somewhat ineffective and has lead to greater fatality rates.
Hormone levels change at menopause which helps to rewire your brain and change the way you feel about things. It is a time that calls us to WAKE UP! our hearts and discover those thing that make us feel fully alive.
Have you noticed… we also start to use more heart phrases like healthy heart, open heart, closed heart, heart centered, my heart is not in it, heavy heart, broken heart, soft heart.
In part 2 of this series, we will explore surprising factors which can increase your chance of a heart attack. And can be avoided.
What changes of heart have you noticed? Please leave a comment to share with the other Girlfriends.